Area Bars Serve Up Special Holiday Drinks
Once November rolls around, everything starts exuding holiday spirit, including drink lists. So whether you're looking for something warm and full of cinnamon, or something stronger so you can put up with your in-laws, there's a holiday drink for you at these MKE bars.
The ChopHouse has long seasonal cocktail menus, for both fall and winter. Some of the fall cocktails include: apple cider mimosa; maple bourbon sour with Crown Royal Maple, lemon and rosemary; Bee's Knees with gin, honey sage syrup and lemon; and a pumpkin spice Russian with vodka, Bailey's and pumpkin spice syrup.
Holiday cocktails mostly take a nutty turn: Naughty with Patron XO, Kahlua and Frangelico; Nice with Bailey's, Frangelico, and crème de menthe and cocao; and Blitzen 52 with Kahlua, Bailey's, Grand Marnier and hot, French press coffee. For something a little lighter, the Sleigh Ride sounds refreshing with rum, ginger beer and cranberry juice.
Both spots in the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel are already making a name for themselves in the MKE bar scene. The cocktail menu is inventive and varied, headed up by lead bartender Gen Longoria. Upstairs at The Outsider, sip on a cocktail called Landmark Offerings, make with rye whiskey, coffee liqueur, fig vanilla maple syrup and ginger beer. Downstairs at the bar in Tre Rivali, The Sage utilizes that same fig vanilla maple syrup, but mixes it with Buffalo Trace bourbon, campfire tincture and bitters for a fall take on the old fashioned.
Distil's cocktail menu changes regularly, and right now they've got a few with classic fall flavors. The Rivalry, Scene 2 mixes Scotch, Amaretto and turbinado sugar syrup with ginger and sage for a floral note. The Mountain Man infuses tequila with brown sugar baked pears before mixing it with black pepper syrup for a little spice. And for those who enjoy pumpkin spice, you can get similar flavors in the Santiago Harvest with rum, rye, pumpkin apple curry syrup, allspice and blackstrap bitters.
Another cocktail menu that changes regularly, Odd Duck is currently sporting a couple with pear and maple. The #37 (Odd Duck numbers their cocktails instead of giving them names) consists of fenugreek-infused dark rum, calvados, maple and five spice bitters. On the pear side of things is #55, a very refreshing sounding mix of Scotch, pear puree, honey, lemon and cinnamon.
The bar at the Iron Horse has three classics available this winter. Washington's Eggnog includes brandy, rye, rum and sherry in a creamy egg and cream blend. Katie's Mulled Wine adds cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, raisins, almonds and orange to red wine and brandy. For something completely decadent, try the hot buttered rum with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and brown sugar, topped with vanilla ice cream.
Many of the Bartolotta restaurants have seasonal cocktails available. At Lake Park Bistro, try the Canneberge made with whiskey, Grand Marnier, cranberries and ginger beer. Bacchus has concocted a sherry-based drink with vermouth and black walnut bitters. Mr. B's Steakhouse has a holiday take on an old fashioned: honey whiskey, cranberry and cinnamon syrup, bitters and club soda garnished with orange and cherry. At Harbor House, sip on the Brimley, made with bourbon, elderflower liqueur, ginger beer and black cherry syrup. And finally, Rumpus Room is all in on the pumpkin spice trend with a pumpkin spice latte martini: pumpkin spice vodka, coffee liqueur, cream, spices and egg white.